The free market is blind to who you are buying from. If Israel itself were on the open market it’d be a colony to Qatar. Can Jewish minds resist this behavior of questioning objectivity? Relativity and proportions doesn’t mean equivalences. All symbols and ideologies are dangerous, but that doesn’t mean your borders are always a threat.
(YNet)(For centuries Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has lived in France. Napoleon had her in his bedroom, Louis XIV brought her to Versailles, and eventually she graced the walls of the Louvre. An Italian Louvre employee was resentful of the fact that this painting wasn’t in its homeland. To restore the Mona Lisa to Italy, Vincenzo Peruggia hid her under his coat when the museum closed for the day and took her to Florence. Two years later, Peruggia was caught and the Mona Lisa was returned to Paris. Peruggia, unlike most robbers, was hailed as a patriotic hero and given a mere 7 months in jail.)
An Israeli project, which is set to boost the museum’s security, will further entail the installation of Synel’s time and attendance management hardware, as well as the use of fingerprint verification, keypad entry, magnetic card, barcode card, proximity card, contactless smart card and facial recognition. According to Erez Buganim, Synel’s Vice President of marketing, the Louvre is continuously exposed to burglary attempts, even by employees. “Therefore, the security system is needed. It will prevent unauthorized personnel from entering areas in the museum where priceless art is held in,” he said. “There are art pieces that aren’t always on display for the public and even the museum’s employees can’t reach certain exhibition spaces at all times,” he said. “Synel offers a technological solution which will monitor unauthorized entries into the museum and within the museum’s exhibition spaces,” Buganim added. The Israeli technology will allow for the museum’s security team to track the Louvre’s 700 employees. Synel France and England CEO Danny Farber expects that by the end of 2012, over 200 French organizations will be using the new technology. “The project at the Louvre is one of several new projects, Synel has recently started in France and England.”
I’m skeptical that the French public won’t freak out when they realize that the system used in a museum could also be used by street cameras and could track terrorists. They of course will point out that it is an Israeli technology that is obviously using art as a sidetrack. No doubt this would create the ultimate Panopticon. Already most cities have cameras installed all over the place. With facial recognition technology it’d be impossible to hide from the government. It is an interesting technology however. The same article had a link to another Israeli facial recognition company that facebook just bought. That is quite frightening to think in the future you will have to go in front of a camera and have Artificial Intel judge to see if you are you.
The museum, established earlier this year, was the idea of Yariv Anbar, director of Mediatech High-Tech, a division of the computer training and development group Matrix. Anbar had been collecting old computers for 18 years when he got the idea of putting them on display. Unfortunately, nobody wanted the “junk” Anbar was peddling — so he decided to open up his own museum, presenting the models he collected. Many of the computers work and have been set up to perform for the public.
“I got my first computer in 1983,” Anbar said. “It was a Mag 2000, which was a clone of the Apple IIe — of course no one could afford an original in those days. The computer connected to a cassette player and a television. A few years later I got a PC, and of course I was very excited.” The PC, made first by IBM and later by a wide variety of clone makers, took the lion’s share of sales, but many other companies tried to come up with competitors. (MORE)
Elbit Systems announced Sunday that it stands to lose close to $65 million from yearly profits for 2011 due to the Defense Ministry’s decision in December to stop the delivery of sophisticated intelligence systems to the Turkish Air Force.February 12, 2012
El means G-d or the name of a pagan God. So the company means God-Op?
Elbit Systems announced Sunday that it stands to lose close to $65 million from its yearly profits for 2011 due to the Defense Ministry’s decision in December to stop the delivery of sophisticated intelligence systems to the Turkish Air Force.
According to Elbit’s announcement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, it was still in talks with Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani about receiving compensation for the ministry’s decision to nix the deal just weeks before planned delivery.
In December, defense officials said that although Israel was working to improve ties with Ankara, the ministry “responsible for every product that receives an export license” and that it could not currently permit the delivery of the intelligence- gathering systems to Turkey.
“This has to do strictly with this system and should not impact the overall ties between the countries,” an official said.
The $140 million deal, signed in 2009, was for the sale of the advanced infrared Lorop camera and associated equipment. Developed by Elbit subsidiary El-Op, the camera is installed in a pod which can be carried on combat aircraft. The systems were supposed to be delivered to Turkey in the coming months.
….then Turkey torpedoes Israeli participation in NATO exercise, NATO reconsiders, Turkey bashes Israel
Turkey succeeded in thwarting the navy’s participation in Active Endeavor, it has, however, failed to prevent Israel from upgrading its ties with NATO. Defense officials said this week that the sides were on the verge of signing a new cooperation agreement that would lead to a significant upgrade in relations.
Israel is also considering a request by NATO to open an office at its headquarters in Brussels. Defense officials said that the offer was still open and that it was being “positively considered” by the government.
It also appears that Israel’s un-invitation is being reconsidered by NATO.
NATO said Friday it is considering an Israeli offer to contribute a warship to the alliance’s naval patrol in the Mediterranean, despite Turkey’s opposition.
Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations bordering on that waterway. Romero said the alliance is prepared to enhance practical cooperation with all partner nations in the region, including Israel.
Some NATO governments have opposed past attempts to forge closer cooperation with Israel, saying that could hurt the alliance’s relations with other Muslim states, including Afghanistan, which remains NATO’s top operational priority.
(Volokh) From Tyler Cowen,
via James Grimmelmann:Soren Riis has a really fascinating essay on the rather astonishing recent developments in the world of computer chess [Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) focusing on the the lifetime ban, recently handed down by the organizers of the World Computer Chess Championships, issued against the author of “Rybka,” a highly successful computer chess program, on the grounds that it is using “plagiarized” code.
It’s a fascinating story in its own right, but particularly for what it says about innovation and information; here’s the key figure, showing the improvements in computer chess play in the last two decades:
What happened in the mid-2000s that led to the sudden improvement in both the overall quality of computer and the rate at which new programs became seriously competitive? Riis writes:
What happened? Starting with the release of the first open-source Fruit in mid-2004, and continuing with the release of subsequent versions of Fruit, open-source engine Stockfish, and especially the release of reverse-engineered Rybka derivatives, highly detailed recipes for building strong, modern chess engines have been in the public domain. Fledgling chess programmers as well as programming veterans have not failed to take notice and the state of the art has advanced rapidly. As a result of this spread of knowledge new programs receive a tremendous performance boost and become “fast climbers”.
There’s a great deal more in the original essay about the nature of proprietary rights and the norms and customs in this particular community — well worth reading.
There is moderation however, because if profit seekers begin to notice they are not getting paid for their ventures then innovation stops. I’m not certain if the consulting model is a long term objective. Free code will result in a large circulation of experts who will contend with each other through marketing strategies. P.S a certain CMU professor (who I can not mention legally and caused my arrest and conviction of a misdemeanor without any analysis of any University documents) also accused me of copying and pasting code… lolz IDIOTS!
Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked among America’s corporate titans.
The 131-year-old company is still making last-ditch efforts to sell off some of its patent portfolio and could avoid Chapter 11 if it succeeds, one of the people said. But the company has started making preparations for a filing in case those efforts fail, including talking to banks about some $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.
A Kodak spokesman said the company “does not comment on market rumor or speculation.”
A filing could come as soon as this month or early February, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Kodak would continue to pay its bills and operate normally while under bankruptcy protection, the people said. But the company’s focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction, the people said.
That Kodak is even contemplating a bankruptcy filing represents a final reversal of fortune for a company that once dominated its industry, drawing engineering talent from around the country to its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters and plowing money into research that produced thousands of breakthroughs in imaging and other technologies.
The company, for instance, invented the digital camera—in 1975—but never managed to capitalize on the new technology.
Casting about for alternatives to its lucrative but shrinking film business, Kodak toyed with chemicals, bathroom cleaners and medical-testing devices in the 1980s and 1990s, before deciding to focus on consumer and commercial printers in the past half-decade under Chief Executive Antonio Perez.
The History of Kodak
None of the new pursuits generated the cash needed to fund the change in course and cover the company’s big obligations to its retirees. A Chapter 11 filing could help Kodak shed some of those obligations, but the viability of the company’s printer strategy has yet to be demonstrated, raising questions about the fate of the company’s 19,000 employees.
Such uncertainty was once unthinkable at Kodak, whose near-monopoly on film produced high margins that the company shared with its workers. On “wage dividend days,” a tradition started by Kodak founder George Eastman, the company would pay out bonuses to all workers based on its results, and employees would use the checks to buy cars and celebrate at fancy restaurants.
Former employees say the company was the Apple Inc. or Google Inc. of its time. Robert Shanebrook, 64 years old, who started at the company in 1967 and was most recently world-wide product manager for professional photographic film, recalls young talent traipsing through Kodak’s sprawling corporate campus. At lunch, they would crowd the auditorium to watch a daily movie at an on-site theater. Other employees would play basketball on the company courts.
“We had this self-imposed opinion of ourselves that we could do anything, that we were undefeatable,” Mr. Shanebrook said.
Kodak’s troubles date back to the 1980s, when the company struggled with foreign competitors that stole its market share in film. The company later had to cope with the rise of digital photography and smartphones.
It wasn’t until 10 years ago that the mood began to sour, said Mr. Shanebrook. By 2003, Kodak announced it would stop making investments in film. “I didn’t want to stick around for the demise,” he said.
Kodak shares closed Wednesday at 47 cents, down 28% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company was preparing a Chapter 11 filing.
Kodak has lost money each year but one since Mr. Perez, who previously headed the printer business at Hewlett-Packard Co., took over in 2005. The company’s problems came to a head in 2011, as Mr. Perez’s strategy of using patent lawsuits and licensing deals to raise cash ran dry.
Hoping to plug the hole, Kodak put some of its digital patents up for sale in August. Efforts to sell the portfolio have been slowed by bidders’ concerns that Kodak might seek bankruptcy protection. The company has talked to hedge funds about borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to bridge its finances until the patents sell, but the talks have faltered, people familiar with the matter said.
The first sign of acute cash pressure came in late September, when Kodak drew $160 million from its credit line at a time when it had told investors it would be building cash. The move sent Kodak’s stock tumbling and raised fresh concerns about the company’s viability.
Soon after, Kodak hired restructuring lawyers and advisers to help shore up its finances.
The company and its board have weighed a potential bankruptcy filing for months. Advisers told Kodak a filing would make its patent sale easier and likely allow the company to command a higher price, people familiar with the matter have said. The obligation to cover pension and health-care costs for retirees could also be purged through bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.
Those obligations—which run to hundreds of millions of dollars a year—as well as the unprofitable state of Kodak’s new businesses, have made the company undesirable as a takeover target, people familiar with the matter said.
During a two-day meeting of the company’s board, management and advisers in mid-December, executives were briefed on how Kodak would fund itself during bankruptcy proceedings should efforts to sell its patents fall short, a person familiar with the matter said.
Kodak is in discussions with large banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. for so-called debtor-in-possession financing to keep the company operating in bankruptcy court, people familiar with the matter said.
Kodak has also held discussions with bondholders and a group led by investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP about a bankruptcy financing package, the people said.
Should it seek bankruptcy protection, Kodak would follow other well-known companies that have failed to adapt to rapidly changing business models. They included Polaroid Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in December 2008; Borders Group Inc., which liquidated itself last year; and Blockbuster Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and was later bought by Dish Network Corp. A bankruptcy filing would kick off what is expected to be a busier year in restructuring circles, as economic growth continues to drag and fears about European sovereign debt woes threaten to make credit markets less inviting for companies that need to refinance their debts.
Mr. Perez decided to base the company’s future on consumer and commercial inkjet printing. But the saturated market has proved tough to penetrate, and Kodak is paying heavily to subsidize sales as it builds a base of users for its ink.
The company remains a bit player in a printer market dominated by giants like H-P. Kodak ranks fifth world-wide, according to technology data firm IDC, with a market share of 2.6% in the first nine months of 2011.
As the company works on a restructuring plan, a key issue for creditors is whether the printer operations are worth supporting, or whether the bulk of the company’s value is in its patents.
Nortel Networks Corp., a company that also had fallen behind the technology curve, opted to liquidate itself in bankruptcy court rather than reorganize, raising a greater than expected $4.5 billion for its patent trove.
Kodak’s founder, Mr. Eastman, took his life at the age of 77 in what is now a museum celebrating the founder and Kodak’s impact on photography. His suicide note read: “To my friends, my work is done. Why wait?”
Very sad… it’s another American brand that was mismanaged and the sound of our competitors in other countries talking about the so called “lazy”American reverberate, but this is a case where the American dream failed because no one could recognize the potential of America. We shouldn’t let our enemies tell us that this is because we are weak. Our companies are failing because we don’t recognize how strong we are. Kodak is a textbook case. Printing is not what one associate with film… only a tech nerd would of seen the resemblance. Where were the marketing people?